Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: Goth Girl

Publish August 15, 2017

Caught graffiting her best work yet, Victoria (Vic) has a choice: a vandalism charge on her record, or required participation in a community art project. It’s an easy decision in her mother’s opinion, and Vic winds up part of a group designing a mural for a construction site in Halifax. Her distinctive goth make-up and black clothing sets her apart from the others, prompting aggressive reactions. With a mother enamoured by the Royal Family and a dead father, however, Vic’s outward appearance provides the armour she needs to face the world – until Zach, a fellow graffiti artist, sees beyond it.

Nova Scotian author Melanie Mosher jumps from picture books to YA with her latest novel, Goth Girl. When it comes to self-expression, Vic’s graffiti speaks volumes. Discouraged from painting at home because of her mother’s failed relationship, Vic takes her creativity to the streets instead, working her way from tagging buildings to devising eye-popping works of art for everyone to see. Giving it all up seems unthinkable when she is arrested.

Vic’s determination to hold onto her art sustains her through continually disappointing her mother and learning long-held family secrets. Mosher develops the relationships within the group of graffiti artists, leading Vic to find a connection and learn more about herself at the same time.

Set in Halifax, Goth Girl captures the city’s varied architectural history in a unique way, and features a confident and gifted protagonist who isn’t afraid to be herself.

Amy Mathers
Amy Mathers

An avid promoter of Canadian teen fiction, Amy Mathers completed the Marathon of Books in 2014. The money she raised allowed the Canadian Children’s Book Centre to fund the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award. She also reviews for the Canadian Children’s Book News and writes a monthly article for the CCBC e-newsletter.

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